Maryville During the Civil War

Maryville During the Civil War (HM1BDT)

Location: Maryville, TN 37801 Blount County
Buy Tennessee State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 35° 45.369', W 83° 58.454'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites


During the antebellum period, Blount County supported abolitionism. In 1822, local Quakers and other residents formed an abolitionist society, and in the decades following, local clergymen preached against the evils of slavery. When the county considered secession in 1861, residents voted to remain with the Union, 1,766 to 414.

Fighting directly touched Maryville, the county seat, in August 1864. Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler's cavalrymen attacked a small detachment of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry (U.S.) under Lt. James M. Dorton at the courthouse. A federal officer later reported that the Confederates, "not caring to hazard lives by storming the place, very foolishly, and I may say criminally set fire into the court-house and burn the enemy out; but instead of doing so the fire spread in all other directions and left the garrison uninjured. The result was all the business property and a great deal of residence property was destroyed, and the people turned out homeless. The fire did not injure the court-house, being isolated from the other buildings." A Confederate soldier, William Sloan, confided in his diary: "A shameful feature of this fire is that nearly all the victims are people of southern sympathies, and many of their sons are away in the Confederate Army."

When Lt. James M. Dorton commandeered the courthouse as Union headquarters, the county records were moved to James Toole's Main Street store. As the fire that the Confederates set spread to the store, former slave Polly Toole ignored the danger, entered the building, and saved the records. A statue of Polly Toole, honoring her bravery, stands in the courthouse today. Maryville recovered after the war, in part with the help of the Freedmen's Bureau, which funded the construction of Anderson Hall at Maryville College.

Blount County Courthouse, 1842-1879, by John Collins, ca. 1870 - Courtesy Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C.
George Toole House, used as Union headquarters, 1864 Courtesy The Daily Times, Dean Stone Collection
Samuel Pride House, occupied by officers of each side. Missing two-story porch burned during the war - Courtesy The Daily Times, Dean Stone Collection
Polly Toole by Sculptor Joyce McCroskey
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 6:24pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 231077 N 3960983
Decimal Degrees35.75615000, -83.97423333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 45.369', W 83° 58.454'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 45' 22.14" N, 83° 58' 27.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 76937-76947 Maryville-Alcoa Greenway, Maryville TN 37801, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?